[Riverland Community College Farm Business Management]


[Wayne is a member of the National Farm & Ranch Business Management Education Association]



Gleanings & Chaff

Fall Farm Safety & Health
Farm Management Minute: Picket Fence Stand
Farm Office Redesign
Feed Shrink May Be Robbing You Blind
Pricing Homegrown Forages & Feeds
Section 529
Self-Employed Retirement Plans
Shrinking Animals
Shrink Review
Ten Deadly Sis of Business & Finance
Using the Data

Shrink Review

We calculate shrink to accurately determine the weight of a crop. The shrink from the water removed is easy to calculate. You can calculate shrink accurately in the following way:

Divide the dry matter in your wet crop by the dry matter in your "dry" crop. The result of this equation is the factor you use to calculate shrink.

For example:  I harvest corn at 25% moisture and dry it down to 15%. The dry matter in the wet corn is 75% (100% - 25%). The dry matter in the "dry" corn is 85% (100% - 15%).  So we do the following math:

Dry matter in wet corn (.75) divided by the dry matter in "dry"corn (.85) = .882353

We use this factor of .882353 to convert the weight of wet corn at 25% moisture to weight of "dry" corn at 15% moisture. For example: I harvest 10,000 pounds of 25% moisture corn. To convert that to "dry" bushels I:

multiply 10,000 X .882353 = 8823.53 pounds. To convert to bushels I divide by 56 and get 157.56 bushels.

You notice that when I remove the ten additional points of moisture from 25% down to 15%, the calculation shows that I take away more than just water. (100% minus 88.2353% = 11.7647%.) Taking out 10% of the water takes away 11.7647% of the final weight. This is due to mathematics and the fact that we don't dry corn all the way down to 100% dry matter.

When elevators dry corn for you, they calculate a pencil shrink to account for some loss in dry matter that occurs through handling and storage loss. If you dry your own corn, you have these losses, too. As we have seen, actual shrink is about 1.176% per point of moisture when dried to 15%. Elevators will charge you more than that, maybe 1.3% to 1.5% per point of moisture. This is their margin and it may vary between elevators.

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Shrinking Animals

Shrinkage is the loss of weight which occurs in an animal which is moved, hauled or upset from its normal routine of eating or resting. Cattle can shrink up to 3% of their live weight just from being moved, penned up and loaded. This initial weight loss is primarily from disrupting the feeding cycle and the emptying of the stomach. This weight could be quickly regained by feed and water.

However, if the animal must stand or ride for additional time, the shrink may occur from a loss of actual muscle tissue which takes considerable time to recapture.

This table shows the shrink which may occur for a feeder steer under different conditions:


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Pricing Homegrown Forages & Feeds

By Jim Linn, Extension Dairy Specialist

If you want to accurately assess the profitability of your operation, you need to know the market value-not just the production cost-of the forages and feeds you grow. There are several ways to do this. Which method you use depends on how accurate you want to be and how much time you wish to put into your calculations.

Legume-Grass Forages
Method 1: Hay Auction. It doesn't get much easier than this. Just use the selling price of auction hay that matches the quality of your hay. To price haylage, adjust the hay price for the dry matter content of the haylage. The quick adjustment is hay price times DM equals haylage price as fed.

Method 2: RFV Rule of Thumb. For this method, use the relative feed value (RFV) and percent dry matter (%DM) as follows:
$/ton as fed=($/ton of DM)x(%DM/100) where $/ton of DM=RFV-26
For example, haylage at 152 RFV and 50% DM would be valued at $63/ton.

Method 3: Energy-Protein-Fiber. This method uses prices of corn, soybean meal, and grade 2 (103-124 RFV) hay to calculate the value of hay of grades other than grade 2 at 89% DM. Use a different formula for each grade of hay as follows:
Prime (above 150 RFV): $/ton=(0.191 x S)+(0.057 x C)+(0.742 x H)
Grade 1 (RFV 125-150): $/ton=(0.045 x S)+(0.067 x C)+(0.879 x H)
Grade 3 (RFV 87-102): $/ton=(-0.071 x S)+(-0.08 x C)+(1.146 x H)
Where S=price of soybean meal (44%), C=price of corn, and H=price of grade 2 hay (103-124 RFV), all in $/ton.

Corn Silage
Method 1: Rule of Thumb: To calculate the price of corn silage using the rule-of-thumb method:
$/ton(35% DM)=10 x $/bushel

Method 2: Energy-Protein-Fiber. To calculate the price of corn silage based on energy, protein and fiber:
$/ton(35% DM)=(0.19 C)-(0.059 x S)+(0.263 x H)
Where S= price of soybean meal (44%), C=price of corn, and H=price of hay, all in $/ton.

To calculate the price of corn silage based on enery and protein:
$/ton(35% DM)=(0.265 x C) - (0.11 x S)

Where S= price of soybean meal (44%) and C= price of corn in $/ton.

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Fall Farm Safety & Health

A Message from the National Safety Council, as reprinted from South Central College, Faribault Campus, newsletter
Harvest Equipment Safety: Harvesting equipment is a necessity on farms to gather the crops for a bountiful harvest. Harvest time is the primary revenue time on some farms and is also one of the peak periods for farm injuries and deaths. Many of these injuries could be prevented by implenmenting effective safety management on the farm.
  • Develop a "safety first" attitude. Follow safe work practices all the time and set a good example for others.
  • Be physically and mentally fit before operating equipment. Fatigue, stress and worry can cause you not to

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    focus on safe equipment operation. Take breaks.
  • Read operator's manual and warning decals. Pay attention to safety information.
  • Inspect the equipment and correct any hazards before operating.
  • Identify hazardous areas on equipment and make sure you stay away from moving parts. Beware of pinch points, shear points, wrap points, pull-in areas, thrown objects, crush points, stored energy hazards and freewheeling parts.
  • Make sure everyone who operates the equipment has received training and is physically able to operate it safely.
  • Shut down equipment, turn off engine, remove key and wait for moving parts to stop before approaching equipment.
  • Keep bystanders and others away from equipment operation area. Do not allow "extra riders", especially children.

Red Checkmark
Harvest Equipment Inspection Checklist
Y / N PTO shields in place
Y / N Guards and shields in place
Y / N Safety locks operational
Y / N No leaks in hydraulics
Y / N Relective SMV and lights working
Y / N 20 lb. ABC fire extinguisher

Grain Bin Safety: Storage and handling of a large colume of grain or feed on farms is common in many areas. Automated equipment has made handling of grain much easier and faster. However, the storage structures and handling equipment create hazardous work areas. Farm workers should make sure they take the proper steps to put safety first to prevent injuries, illnesses and even death.

  • Label grain bins to warn of the hazards of entrapment.
  • Lock entrances to grain handling areas to keep bystanders and children out.
  • Install ladders inside all bins.
  • Do not enter grain bins that are being loaded or unloaded. Flowing grain can trap and suffocate in seconds.
  • If necessary to enter a bin, shut off and lock out power before entering the bin. Use a safety harness and safety line. Have several people located outside who can lift the person out of the bin.
  • Wear NIOSH-approved dust-filtering respriators when working in and around grain handling areas. High amounts of just and molds could be present.
  • Wear approved hearing protection when working around noisy equipment, aeration fans, dryers, etc.Be cautious of grain that may have gone out of condition. Crusted grain could have cavities underneath that can collapse and suffocate. >
  • Keep bystanders and children away from grain bins and grain handling equipment.

Red Checkmark
Grain Bin Inspection Checklist
Y / N Ladders in good condition
Y / N Lockout available for power
Y / N Electrical equipment is safe
Y / N No overhead power lines nearby
Y / N Have approved respirators available
Y / N Guards and shields in place

Beware of Silo Gas: Silo gas is a confined space hazard that is formed after chopped silage is placed in the silo. A natural fermentation process takes place releasing gases. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are the greatest concern. These gases can kill with even a small amount of exposure. NO is toxic while CO displaces the oxygen supply in a silo. Farmers who work around silos should make sure everyone takes the proper steps to beware of silo gas.

  • Label silo to warn of the gas hazards.
  • Be aware of signals of silo gas, such as a yellow-brown color or a bleach- like odor.
  • Lock access to silos to keep bystanders and children out.
  • Do not enter silos after filling has started. Silo gas gas concentration may be the highest 48-72 hours after filling. Lethal concentrations may exist for up to three weeks in poorly ventilated silos.
  • Run the blower to ventilate the silo at least 20 minutes before entering.
  • Obtain and use monitoring equipment to determine the level of  NO2, COor O present. If dangerous levels exist, do not enter.
  • If entrance is necessary, a self-contained breathing apparatus must be worn by someone trained in its use. A safety harness should be worn and monitoring should continue while someone is in the silo. The actual facet of the actual watch tend to be whitening strips associated with excellent azure steaming. These perform shine at nighttime and therefore are coordinated towards the colours from the hr as well as fingers. The actual azure lume whitening operate on the actual attributes as well as center from the case. Having a somewhat various associated with azure -- the actual ornamental collection through the middle of the actual proceeds about the rubberized straps.

Red Checkmark
Silo Gas Inspection Checklist
Y / N Monitoring equipment operational
Y / N Safety harness available
Y / N Silo is well ventilated
Y / N Silo doors in good repair
Y / N Ladders in good condition
Y / N Lockout available for power
Y / N Guards and shields in place

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Updated Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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